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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2019

Authors: Howie, JM; Mazzucco, R; Taus, T; Nolte, V; Schlötterer, C

Title: DNA Motifs Are Not General Predictors of Recombination in Two Drosophila Sister Species.

Source: Genome Biol Evol. 2019; 11(4):1345-1357

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Howie James Malcolm
Mazzucco Rupert
Nolte Viola
Schlötterer Christian
Taus Thomas

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Population Genetics

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Project(s): ERC ADG: The architecture of adaptation

Population Genetics

Meiotic recombination is crucial for chromosomal segregation and facilitates the spread of beneficial and removal of deleterious mutations. Recombination rates frequently vary along chromosomes and Drosophila melanogaster exhibits a remarkable pattern. Recombination rates gradually decrease toward centromeres and telomeres, with a dramatic impact on levels of variation in natural populations. Two close sister species, Drosophila simulans and Drosophila mauritiana do not only have higher recombination rates but also exhibit a much more homogeneous recombination rate that only drops sharply very close to centromeres and telomeres. Because certain sequence motifs are associated with recombination rate variation in D. melanogaster, we tested whether the difference in recombination landscape between D. melanogaster and D. simulans can be explained by the genomic distribution of recombination rate-associated sequence motifs. We constructed the first high-resolution recombination map for D. simulans based on 189 haplotypes from a natural D. simulans population and searched for short sequence motifs linked with higher than average recombination in both sister species. We identified five consensus motifs significantly associated with higher than average chromosome-wide recombination rates in at least one species and present in both. Testing fine resolution associations between motif density and recombination, we found strong and positive associations genome-wide over a range of scales in D. melanogaster, while the results were equivocal in D. simulans. Despite the strong association in D. melanogaster, we did not find a decreasing density of these short-repeat motifs toward centromeres and telomeres. We conclude that the density of recombination-associated repeat motifs cannot explain the large-scale recombination landscape in D. melanogaster, nor the differences to D. simulans. The strong association seen for the sequence motifs in D. melanogaster likely reflects their impact influencing local differences in recombination rates along the genome.© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Chromosomes, Insect
Drosophila melanogastergenetics
Drosophila simulansgenetics
Nucleotide Motifs
Recombination, Genetic

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